06 June 2010

Free Ride

Yesterday Fort Benning hosted a "Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran's Day." I got all teary-eyed when I read the article in our on-post newspaper. (Click here if you want to get teary eyed). Brad had to work over-night on Friday so we didn't make it out early enough Saturday morning for the ceremony at the Parade Field. I imagine it was an emotional event for many.

We read in the paper that there were going to be free "Huey" rides from 12-5, so we thought we'd see if we could get in on that. We got in line about 12:15 or so. There were 300 other people in line with us! The boys were so excited!Unfortunately, after an hour and a half in line, we found out that kids had to be 5 years old to fly. Walker was pretty disappointed. Wilson even suggested we just leave since his brother couldn't do it. Brad and I thought maybe it was too good of an opportunity to miss for Wilson... especially after we saw the sign that these rides were normally $50 per person... So we waited...
and waited...

they took a break to refuel the birds (now we had been in line for close to 3 hours). It was kind of nice when they weren't flying though, because then we got to actually have a conversation with the people by us in line. We met a very kind couple. He was a retired Vietnam vet and they were waiting out in the heat so they could fly with their grandson. We wish we had written down their names, Walker was entertaining them and totally eating up their attention!

Finally after nearly 4 hours in line, it was almost time! Free earplugs!!
Getting ready to get on board!
Getting ready to come in for a landing (see those dark clouds in the background? we were a bit afraid that they were going to move in before Brad & Wilson got to fly, thankfully they held off!)
And - all smiles! I tried to have Walker run up to Brad & Wil for this picture, but his hat started blowing off from the rotors and it was freaking him out...

It was a long, hot wait. But I think there are a couple guys that would say it was totally worth it.

Walker got a little crushed again when they were telling us about their 10 minute flight... we tried to remind him that he did get to ride in a helicopter before, but I guess its just not the same. Later though, he did tell me that I was "the only person in your fam-i-ly that hasn't flown in a el-icopter."

Also, I may have forgotten to mention... they had to end the rides and send a bunch of people away because of the weather -- and Brad and Wilson made it on the 2nd to last flight!


  1. Amanda, what a great thing for Brad and Wil, I knnow Walker probably did feel crushed, but you being the "only" one with no flight time must make you feel crushed! What a great way to thank our men and women who worked so hard during that war...too many people for too long have wanted to push that away into the dim dark reaches of the "closet"...I'm still proud of what the United States attempted to do. Love you guys and really can't wait to see you!

  2. I've missed a lot not checking my friends' blogs recently...

    That's so cool that Brad and Wilson got to ride on the helicopter...and hopefully you'll get a chance for Walker to do so once HE turns 5.

    So happy for you that you found a new friend in one of your neighbors. When you're in a new place, I'm sure it really helps to be able to get to know some people.

    Ande and I recently got back from Oklahoma and when we passed by Ft. Sill I thought of you, Brad, and the boys. I didn't get a chance to go on base, but Ande and Ben went one night to play roller hockey. Wished you all still there so we could have had a chance to visit.

    Anyway, glad things are going well for you guys. Hope to get to see you sometime soon.